Maverick (1957–1962)
4 user 2 critic

War of the Silver Kings 

We first glimpse Bret unshaven & dirty, lugging a rifle, trying to register at a classy hotel. Using the $1000 bill pinned inside his jacket, and adding some dollar-size strips cut from a ... See full summary »


Budd Boetticher


James O'Hanlon (teleplay), C.B. Glasscock (book)


Episode complete credited cast:
James Garner ... Bret Maverick
Edmund Lowe ... Phineas King
John Litel ... Judge Joshua Thayer
Leo Gordon ... Big Mike McComb
Carla Merey Carla Merey ... Edie Stoller
John Hubbard ... Richard Bixby
Robert Griffin ... Fennelly
Fred Sherman ... John Stoller
Bob Steele ... Walter Jackson
Donald Kirke ... Crane




We first glimpse Bret unshaven & dirty, lugging a rifle, trying to register at a classy hotel. Using the $1000 bill pinned inside his jacket, and adding some dollar-size strips cut from a newspaper, Bret cadges a room via a bulging envelope for the guest safe. Changing into his gambler's duds for a poker game including the company town's silver baron Phineas King, Bret (James Garner) wins - and only Bret hints that King is a card cheat. King's casino manager, Big Mike McComb has Bret beaten, but won't have him killed. Big Mike (screenwriter/ex-con Leo Gordon) becomes a memorable recurring character in the series. After King still takes a crack at having Bret iced, Bret runs an ad in King's paper: "King did NOT try to kill me - today. See this space tomorrow !" Directed by one of the best Western specialists, Budd Boetticher. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western


Did You Know?


The director, Bud Boetticher, was a maverick in his own right. Best-known for the Randolph Scott films he directed, he was also a trained bull fighter. See more »


Bret Maverick commits a serious breach of poker etiquette. It is in the first hand of the first poker game. Maverick drops a card into his lap. When reaching to retrieve it he is holding all five cards under the table. See more »


[first lines]
Hotel Clerk: [to guest checking in] Thank you, sir.
Hotel Clerk: [to Bret] Don't bother to sign, we haven't anything.
Bret Maverick: I'd like something comfortable in the front, with a view of the street.
Hotel Clerk: We're completely out of accommodations. I suggest you try one of the miner's boarding houses.
Bret Maverick: I wonder if you'd mind, uh, keeping this in a safe for me, please.
See more »

User Reviews

Off to a Good Start
21 July 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Like a rider coming over the horizon, already we see signs of the classic Maverick to come. It's a battle of wits all the way as Bret takes on the town tyrant Phineas King (great name). After donning his trademark dude's outfit, Bret locks horns with the smooth-talking slickster in what else but a crooked poker game. After that the shenanigans fly thick and fast right up to the cleverly satisfying climax involving ownership of a silver lode.

It's a fine cast for this first episode—silent screen star Edmund Lowe as King, muscular roughneck Leo Gordon as Big Mike, and familiar face John Litel as the judge. Look fast too for cowboy star Bob Steele in a supporting role. And I especially like someone's judgment in casting a plain-faced Carla Merey as the girl, instead of the usual glamorous type. Also, cult director Buddy Boetticher is in charge of the action. Clearly, producer and Hollywood veteran Roy Huggins knew what he was doing in putting this together.

Garner plays it pretty straight except for a couple of brief moments when the classic character peeks out, like from under the bed covers as the girl leaves his room. However, this trademark humorous side would take a little time to develop. But it's not hard to see even from this first entry that something special is on the way.

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Release Date:

22 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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